The Joy of the Martyrs


The Joy of the Martyrs

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Resurrection is the Source of Power

When a Martyr gave his life in jubilation to witness for his Savior, he was receiving great courage and incomprehensible power from Him who faithfully promised saying, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me…. To the end of the earth”. Thus, the martyr here was dealing with a divine, supernatural issue and with a divine, invisible truth that could thrust a living hope into his heart, with an unfathomable joy and yearning, as he saw, through the eye of faith, a new bright dawn, and his death became a mark for a life which declared the glory of the cross, and the majesty of the Redeemer who conquered death.

The Glory of the Flow of Triumph

Here, a remarkable truth becomes clear; the triumph of the Lord’s resurrection flowed into every soul that witnessed to Him! The effect of flowing of this triumph in the heart of the martyr made him eagerly willing to give up his life as a token for his faith in the Crucified who rose victorious over death: “…neither death nor life… shall be able to separate us from the love of God

The love of immortality and the make of eternal life were cultivated in the martyrs through the truth of this faith. The core of their belief in a joyful, invisible eternal life, became rooted in their new birth, consequently, their martyrdom became a manifestation of exultation for the victory of their Savior. Hence, they refused to flee death so that they could start their new life in the homeland of immortality. Their soles in them were in fortified defensive posts through the power of the Spirit to give them the triumph of the resurrection.

This makes it clear why the martyr at the time of his death was not disparate or shattered, nor was he enraged or crushed by the torture which he was submitted to by his persecutors. Rather, he considered his death a joy and liberation to a better world with the risen Christ, a loosening of the bonds of his ship. We read about one of the martyrs who went to the arena where he was to die wearing his best clothing, and another who gave presents to the swordsman who was assigned to kill him. This Joy assert their steadfast faith, which was full of hope and forgiving the persecutors,

The Mysterious Union With the Risen Christ

The yearning of the martyrs for death was an unexplainable puzzle for many, but the mysterious aspect in this fact was that their being and their existence were not separable or independent from their Christ. Christ was united with them and they were united with Him, and through this union the Lord could verify the mystery of His victory over death in them. This mystery was manifested in a fire of love in their hearts, and this love was the strong immortal bond which united Christ’s heart with the hearts of those who were crucified for Him; “I in them, and You in Me; that they be made perfect in one”. Thus, martyrdom declared the efficacy of the Lord’s victory in the saint, both on the visible and the tangible levels, which reinforced the linkage between them, and fortified the nature of their eternal union in an eternal kingdom, “…where I am, there you may be.

Our Jubilation in Our Fathers and Their Martyrdom

The joyful fact is that our fathers, the martyrs, are not separated from us, but there is a living, unwavering fact which connects us with them, that is our membership with them in the one body, which is submitted to the One Head. We celebrate them as an expression of our joy in the fulfillment of their testimony, which bestowed on them the crowns of light, “If one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it”. It is amazing that they are also waiting for us to conclude our testimony so they can receive the fulfillment of their glory: “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise. God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect without us.

This is the Kingdom of God which embraces both the visible and the invisible worlds. And this is the faith in which we live, that enables the Spirit of God to revive in us the yearning for the glory of eternal immortality. Our fellowship with the martyrs is thus, the result of our living fellowship with Christ, nourished by the triumph of His resurrection, which gives us our hope in the joy of our eternal residence with Him and with them.

Emil Bishay

1. Revelations 12:11
2. Acts 1: 8
3. Roman 8: 38, 39

4. John 17:23
5. John 14: 3
6. 1Corinthians 12:26
7. Hebrews 11:39,40